US: Gay high school student punched and choked by anti-gay bully on school bus

Illustrated rainbow pride flag on a pink background.

A gay rights group has filed a complaint on behalf of a high school student whose mother says he was punched and choked by a football player because of his sexuality.

GetEqual Indiana Director David Stevens said the complaint was filed Thursday, alleging that Perry Township School in Indianapolis had denied the teen “access to a hostile-free education.”

The teen’s mother told the Indianapolis star that the football player from Southport High School had been taunting her son for months prior to attacking him on the school bus.

But Southport Principal Barbara Brouwer said a district investigation found the gay teen, a junior, started the fight by using a racial slur against the athlete, who responded with a gay slur.

She said the district suspended both students from the bus for a week and later assigned them to separate buses.

Perry Township School district spokeswoman Paula Clegg said officials had not seen the complaint and could not comment.

The gay teen’s mother told the Star her son has been afraid to leave the house and believed he needed counseling.

Office of Equal Opportunity chief Maxine Russell said the agency will investigate to find out whether there was any discrimination or bullying.

In July, the US state Indiana passed a law that would result in gay couples being jailed for up to 18 months if they attempt to apply for a marriage license.